Looking at the earnings picture so far, the Technology sector (one of the 16 broad Zacks sectors within the Zacks Industry classification) has shown more resilience compared to others amid the coronavirus-led economic rout.
While some players suffered due to supply-chain disruptions as well as weakness in automobile, PC spending and lower software spending, several benefited from a solid data-center market and the growing adoption of cloud-based applications including contactless payments and online delivery.
Cyber-security companies like Fortinet witnessed accelerated deployments and deal flow to protect workload of cloud-based applications driven by tech-supported remote-working and online-learning wave, courtesy of digital transformation across all major industries due to the pandemic.
Both Microsoft and Google’s results reflected solid demand for cloud-computing services, while Intel’s) data-centric businesses drove its first-quarter performance.
Apple was in the eye of the storm on both supply chain and consumer demand front with iPhone units under massive pressure. Nonetheless, its FAANG brethren Amazon (massive strength in e-commerce and Amazon Web Services) and Facebook (growth in traffic and higher user engagement levels on social media) witnessed relative tailwinds.
However, the coronavirus outbreak deflated advertising demand and spending, hurting the social-media giant’s top line in turn.
Insight Into Key Releases
Here we discuss five stocks scheduled to release their quarterly earnings on May 28.
VMware's VMW first-quarter fiscal 2021 results are expected to reflect lower on-premise IT spending and a sluggish demand environment due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, VMware’s strong product portfolio is likely to have driven the company’s top line in the to-be-reported quarter. Additionally, frequent product launches and feature updates are likely to have attracted clients during the fiscal first quarter. (Read more: VMware to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?)
Moreover, VMWare has the favorable combination of a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of +0.08%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Per the Zacks model, the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 increases the odds of an earnings beat. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings has remained unchanged at $1.19 per share over the past 30 days.
VMware, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
VMware, Inc. price-eps-surprise | VMware, Inc. Quote
salesforce.com's CRM first-quarter fiscal 2021 results are likely to have been adversely impacted by a decline in software spending due to the coronavirus outbreak. The company’s exposure to small and medium businesses (SMBs), hard-hit by the coronavirus impact on the economy, is likely to have hurt its top line.
Nevertheless, the ongoing digital transformation has been benefiting salesforce’s top line, a trend that most likely continued in the to-be-reported quarter too. The company is also likely to have gained traction from its focus on building and extending relationships with leading brands across industries and geographies. (Read more: salesforce to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?)
Moreover, salesforce.com has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of +1.14%, a combination which increases the possibility of a beat. Notably, the consensus mark for earnings has remained stable at 69 cents per share over the past 30 days.
salesforce.com, inc. Price and EPS Surprise
salesforce.com, inc. price-eps-surprise | salesforce.com, inc. Quote
Autodesk’s ADSK first-quarter fiscal 2021 results are likely to reflect robust adoption of its maintenance-to-subscription program, strength in new customer billings, solid renewals and growth in subscription revenues.
However, sluggish maintenance revenues might have negatively impacted the top line. Moreover, spending on software is likely to have declined as commercial IT buyers and consumers implemented rapid cuts in capital spending, in line with lower revenues, profits, market valuations, and employee headcount due to coronavirus-led business uncertainty. The top line is expected to reflect the impact of the decline in spending. (Read more: Factors Setting the Tone for Autodesk's Q1 Earnings)
Notably, Autodesk has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of -3.54%, which makes surprise prediction difficult. The consensus mark for first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings per share has remained unchanged at 82 cents over the past 30 days.
Autodesk, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Autodesk, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Autodesk, Inc. Quote
Zscaler's ZS third-quarter fiscal 2020 results are expected to reflect increased demand for the company’s cloud-native security solutions amid coronavirus-induced remote working wave.
The company’s portfolio strength and ability to provide cloud-based security solutions irrespective of the users’ “device or location” is a key catalyst. This, in turn, is likely to have aided the company to win customers in the to-be-reported quarter. (Read more: Zscaler to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?)
However, hefty investments in sales, cloud infrastructure and new product innovation are expected to have strained margins in the period under consideration.
The company has a Zacks Rank of 3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, which dims possibilities of a beat. Notably, the consensus mark for earnings has remained unchanged at 2 cents per share over the past 30 days.
Zscaler, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Zscaler, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Zscaler, Inc. Quote
Okta's OKTA first-quarter fiscal 2021 results are expected to reflect strong demand for its security platforms attributable to the rise in remote work environment and need for stronger security with more people logging into employers' networks amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Additionally, product innovation, continued adoption and higher use of identity solutions are expected to have driven Okta’s top line. (Read more: Okta to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?)
However, continued investments in Identity Platform are expected to have kept margin under pressure. Additionally, the company has a Zacks Rank of 2 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for loss has remained steady at 18 cents per share over the past 30 days.
Okta, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Okta, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Okta, Inc. Quote
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